Tuesday, November 25, 2003
2003 versus 1966
Posted by David Smith at 12:28 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Much has been made of the parallels between England's Rugby World Cup victory and the last time an England team were world champions, the football World Cup of 1966.

In terms of economics, though, the differences are huge. Britain in 1966 was over-unionised and thus beset with industrial relations problems. Sterling crises came thick and fast, ahead of the eventual devaluation of November 1967. Just before England's victory, the Wilson government had introduced a six-month wage and dividend freeze and new exchange controls. The "sick man of Europe" was coming to terms with the loss of the British Empire.

Today, while there's lots of room for improvement in the UK, it is in the rest of Europe where the need for reform is most urgent. Read Gordon Brown's speech on what needs to be done, and how Europe can learn from Britain.